ACTION sent a representative to attend the symposium on Laws Protecting Women and Children held on 15 September 2016 at Subic Bay Travelers’ Hotel, Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
The City Social Welfare Development Office (CSWDO), Olongapo City organized the whole-day symposium to help develop a common understanding and improve the participants knowledge on different laws protecting women and children. This in turn can help them fulfill their duties and responsibilities and ensure the best interest of the women and children. Participants to this symposium were Barangay Violence Against Women and Children desk officers, Barangay Human Rights ACTION Officers (BHRAO), PNP women’s desk officers and other members of the Olongapo City Women and Children Protection Council (WCPC) in Olongapo City.
Assistant City Prosecutors Atty. Ria Niňa L. Sususco and Atty. Catherine Mesuelo served as resource speakers on the following laws: R.A. 9344 (The Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act) as amended by R.A. 10630 (An Act Strengthening the Juvenile Justice System in the Philippines) , R.A. 9262 (Anti Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004), R.A. 9208 (Anti- Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003) as amended by R.A. 10364 (Expanded Anti- Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012) , R.A. 8353 (Anti Rape Law of 1997) and R.A. 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act). These lawyers also shared their experiences in handling children during preliminary investigations and court hearings with wit and humor. The participants were also able to ask the resource persons some of their concerns.
“It takes a village to raise a child”, this proverb should remind us that upholding the rights and ensuring the protection of children from any abuse is not only the government’s responsibility, it is everyone’s concern.